10 Things You Definitely Need to Do in Grand Junction
Grand Junction is a rad place to live and visit, but have you really experienced what this great town offers. Here are 10 things you definitely need to do here.
Hike to the Top of Mount Garfield
I can say that I’ve never made it to the top, I’ve tried, once, but it’s a goal that I plan to accomplish this year.
My first attempt, I only made it to the first plateau, which was good enough for me. The views from there are simply incredible, but I can’t wait to see what the views are like at the vista.
If you can’t make it to the top, it’s still worth the challenge to make an attempt.
Wine Tasting in Palisade
No, it’s not Grand Junction, but it should be part of your experience if you’re visiting or live here.
First, you’ll want to get a designated driver, that way you’ll be able to enjoy the delicious wines the Grand Valley has to offer.
Eat a Burger at Bin 707
Of course there are other restaurants that serve burgers, but none like Bin 707.
Make the most out of your ‘Bin Burger’ and add some roasted poblano peppers, smoked applewood bacon and the Beehive promontory white cheddar made in Uintah, Utah.
Float the Colorado River
Grab some tubes, a raft, kayak or even a stand-up paddle board and hit the water while enjoying the beautiful scenery the Grand Valley has to offer.
The mighty Colorado River has a gentle flow between Palisade and Grand Junction, you won’t need all that whitewater gear to enjoy its calming effect.
You’ll want to wait till most of the snowmelt runoff has stopped for the year, rising waters can be dangerous. And don’t forget lots of water — you don’t want to drink the river — and SPF 1-million to protect your skin from the blistering sun.
View the Wild Mustangs
The Grand Junction area is home to some of the US’ last wild horses which reside on over 30,000 protected acres.
Getting to the trailhead is easy, it’s just off I-70 at the Cameo exit 45. Cross the river and drive past the power plant staying on the main road for approximately 1.5 miles. You will come to the Coal Canyon Trailhead.
Remember, these are wild animals and can be spooked easily. Respect their space. If you take a dog, make sure they’re leashed and don’t aggrevate the horse.
Above all, enjoy the beauty of these majestic animals.
Attend the Farmers Market
If you’re looking for some delicious locally grown produce and other products, the farmers’ market in downtown Grand Junction has everything you could need and want.
Stroll the streets of downtown, grab a bite to eat and just enjoy the great community we live in.
View Some Petroglyphs
Grand Junction and the surrounding areas were populated by Ute and Fremont Indians who left their “mark” on many of the canyon walls.
Most of these petroglyphs and pictoglyphs can be found northwest of Grand Junction near Rangley.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to drive that far to find some great historic locations.
Try Rough Canyon, about eight miles west of town, it’s an easy hike that even the most out-of-shape person can enjoy. The petroglyphs can be easily missed, and have been tampered with over the years. Still worth the visit.
Hike or Drive the Colorado National Monument
Let’s face it, the Colorado National Monument is the backdrop for Grand Junction. There’s so many activities to be done that it’ll take a life time to do them all.
With an abundance of hiking trails you can literally get lost in the beautiful landscapes that surround you, view the majestic wildlife that resides within the parks canyons and vistas.
Plan a camping trip to view the stars with little ‘light pollution,’ a day picinic or try your climbing skills on any of the climbing walls the Monument has to offer.
Drive the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway
Drive your way to the top of the world’s largest flat-top mountain that over looks the Grand Valley.
Head east out of Grand Junction to exit 49 (CO-65) and prepare to be amazed. You’ll start by winding your way through a beautiful canyon as you climb in elevation up the Grand Mesa.
Make sure to stop and breathe in the scenery capturing memories to last a life time. If you’re out for the day, you have to cut off to see the Land’s End Observatory that over looks the Grand Valley below.
Try planning your trip for mid to late September to catch the awe-inspiring colors of changing aspen.
Dig Up Some Bones
The Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction offers paleontological tours, and one-day dinosaur digs.
Kids of all ages will enjoy learning about the creatures that once roamed these areas, who knows, maybe you’ll find the next “unnamed” dinosaur.